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Bio-Technology Initiatives to Feed Research On Sorghum Crop

by Medindia Content Team on March 28, 2006 at 2:35 PM
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Bio-Technology Initiatives to Feed Research On Sorghum Crop

United States: A biotech seed lab in Johnston, Iowa, is currently witness to the combined resources and ingenuity of African Agrarian inclination with the money and Technological prowess of the United States, to take forward the research on the ubiquitous sorghum crop that is the only succor to a starved African population.

The joint venture, targeting sorghum, a widely known U.S. row crop that finds use in animal feed, cereals and industrial products, will now be researched to cater to a more responsible role of being able to brave odds like drought and also give out a rich yield of vitamins and minerals. This would indeed be a boon to the prevailing problems of hunger and malnutrition in Africa.

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Luke Mehlo, a molecular biotechnologist who came to Iowa from South Africa, and is keenly involved with the team of African scientists said "A lot of people have died on the African continent, quite unnecessarily. We seek to have a crop that will enable us to survive during disasters and food shortages."

The scientists will camp at Iowa for the next three years, concentrating their expertise on the sorghum genes. By tweaking genes from other crops and orchestrating genes from within the sorghum plant itself, scientists are optimistic about doling out a crop that is richer in vitamins, amino acids and protein, which is also easily digestible. If this project is successful, it would be a major stride benefiting an estimated 300 million people in arid regions of Africa, whose main food source is sorghum.

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